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Sholay burning bright even after 40 years! A classic case of a movie being overrated

Sholay was essentially inspired by multiple western movies, but even four decades later, we still can’t stop talking about it. This is my personal opinion, but I think Gabbar, Jai, Veeru and Basanti should be laid to rest. Their exploits in the movie and the memories, I mean.

Without doubt, the director and the actors worked really hard, not just in the making of the movie, but even in promoting it.


Sholay has everything, from money to big-shot actors, big screen sets and extremely high budget for the film, but the movie lacked factors like art, story line, aesthetic beauty, and most importantly, Intellect. Masala movies are so hit with us that we fail to see their stupidity.

Sholay has received the greatest of reviews over the years, but we conveniently forget that it wasn’t the brainchild of the director, it wasn’t original. Most of the scenes in the movie were taken from four Hollywood movies – The good the bad and the ugly, The magnificent seven, Once upon a time in the west, and, For a few more dollars. Apart from that, the movie lasts 198 minutes, well over three hours of murder, rape, guns and gangs! The movie shows revenge and murder, and Veeru’s humourless jokes which were considered funny. Besides that, Sholay was full of excessive acting by Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini and Dharmendra…


My first reaction after watching Sholay was, wow, how emancipated and independent Hema Malini’s role was. I mean, who dances on broken glasses? She danced on broken glasses for a good five minutes! The director stretched the limit of his creativity so much that it ended up as a typical masala movie.


Jaya Bhaduri (radha), played the role of a lonely widow, attracted to Amitabh Bachchan. For most part of the movie, she behaved like a mannequin. It must have struck a chord back in the 70s, but Sholay has passed on from generation to generation. At times, it’s irritating to hear people talk about the greatness of Sholay, or how it propelled the actors to a new level of stardom. It did, yes, but isn’t it time to move on?


Gabbar (amjad khan) and his dumb-witted dialogues like ‘kitne aadmi the’ or Amitabh’s ‘mausi going jail and chakki pissing and pissing’, followed by ‘ye haath hum,ko dede thakur’, reflects the level of dialogue scripting. Gabbar’s sadist brand of extortion and banditry worked in those days, but dragging the movie to the 21st century is clearly dramatic.


How could the movie complete without Jai’s heroism by fighting with gunshot arm and sacrificing his life for his best friend, claiming himself to be the hero. It would have been better if he had played wisely and managed to survive. Ramesh Sippy could have been more original.